In today’s fast-changing manufacturing world, adopting digital transformation has become a vital strategy for companies striving to stay competitive. Beyond the buzz of technology and data-driven solutions, a crucial yet often overlooked aspect is the significant role that cultural change plays. Prabhu Ramachandran, a visionary leader and member of Kaneka’s Digital Transformation (DX) team, is at the forefront of driving this essential shift in the IIoT production and manufacturing space.

To learn more about Prabhu Ramachandran’s innovative approach to digital transformation in manufacturing and the impact of cultural change, click here to view the full story.

Reduce Unplanned Downtime with Chemicals Asset Case Studies

Dryer Blowers

Dryer blowers are essential in the chemical industry for efficiently removing moisture from various products. Induced draft and forced draft fans supply a continuous flow of heated air, with challenges differing based on the product or batch. Common issues include blade corrosion and imbalance due to material buildup, which can result in early bearing or asset failure.

  • $5,000/hour Downtime Cost 
  • 4-8 hours Downtime 
  • Asset Cost $50,000   

Screw Compressors

Screw compressors transport compressed gases for functions like air supply or gas storage. When they fail, operations stop due to the loss of high-pressure fluid. To minimize downtime and losses, it’s crucial to optimize machine health by managing running speeds. Common causes of downtime include bearing failure, shaft misalignment, and lubrication issues.

  • Compressor Rebuild: $80,000 4-6 weeks downtime 
  • Compressor Replacement: $240,000 15-17 weeks downtime

Air Compressors

Air compressors within a plant can lead to substantial energy waste and costly downtime when they fail unexpectedly. Air leaks within the system force the compressor to operate under heightened demand to maintain system pressure. This heightened demand not only results in higher energy consumption but also causes increased wear and tear on compressor components.  

  • $60,000 Per year/ compressor

Spent Acid Blowers

Blowers play a vital role in the Acid Regeneration process. Ensuring the proper maintenance of assets like Turbo Blowers is essential but can be challenging. Blower downtime can bring product production to a complete standstill, with failure modes varying depending on the process configuration.

  • Unplanned downtime can cost up to $100,000/day
  • Repairing & replacing parts can take multiple days

Cooling Towers

Cooling towers pose challenges for accessibility and monitoring, causing many maintenance professionals to overlook critical signs of impending failure. Such failures can disrupt various production processes downstream.

  • $1,000/hour downtime cost 
  • $50,000 in equipment costs per failure
  • $100,000+ cost savings per avoided failure


Agitator processes, whether with a vertically mounted agitator or a side-mounted agitator coupled to a 90-degree gearbox, are typically sporadic. Backlash in the gearbox can stress mounting brackets and couplings. Without continuous monitoring, reliability programs can miss critical insights into machine health, potentially leading to costly equipment failures and downtime.

  • Potential Equipment Rebuild or Replacement Costs: Up to $150,000
  • Labor: 2 Riggers and 2 Machine Repairmen, 6-8 hours, totaling over 32 individual man-hours
  • Potential Product Loss: Depending on redundancies and product, up to $10,000 – $15,000 per hour

Canned Pumps

Canned pumps are essential in the Petrochemical industry for transferring hazardous liquids. Their enclosed bearings eliminate the need for regular lubrication, emphasizing the need for uninterrupted flow. Monthly inspections are insufficient, making continuous monitoring vital, given the short time to failure of around 48 hours when journal bearings wear down.

  • Capital Expenditure (parts): $90,000 on average
  • Labor: $10,000 16-24 Hours Downtime   

Achieve 3.6x more asset coverage with the only comprehensive platform to ingest Oil, MCSA, Pressure, Vibration, Legacy IEPE sensors, and Ultrasound into
one software platform.


customer savings

hours of prevented downtime

hours of monitoring

Optimize Your Machine Health

Reduce unplanned downtime by getting to the root cause of machine failures. Learn how KCF’s machine health optimization platform will help you achieve peak plant performance. Download the KCF Guide to learn more about optimizing your machine health.

Get the Guide

How Our Chemicals Machine Health Optimization Platform Works

Manufacturers and producers in the energy sector have to keep a watchful eye on O&M costs, and every machine failure can cause that number to creep up. Traditional route- or time-based monitoring doesn’t capture smaller data anomalies that can alert your team to failure before it’s too late.

Our comprehensive machine health platform, wirelessly and continuously transmits machine health data to a central database from individual monitoring points on your assets. Its advanced analytics capabilities get to the root cause of machine health issues, and its human-in-the-loop architecture ensures compliance and correct action.

“If data and insights are to create any value, they must influence people and systems’ behaviors. That’s why culture transformation is part of the key.”

Digital Transformation Project Manager

KCF Technologies Gives Chemicals Producers a Competitive Edge

Achieve your short and long-term performance goals with our team of engineers experienced in chemicals production asset health monitoring, root cause analysis, and problem-solving.

We’ll help you mitigate unplanned downtime, reduce maintenance and equipment spending, and increase productivity.